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ricardo

Ricardo's report v Birmingham

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It has been very cold in Norwich today so I deemed it expedient to don a few layers for the bike ride up to the ground this evening because the blood is starting to get a bit thin at my age. In truth it was a fine night for football although I was more than a little apprehensive due to our injury list and recent frailty at the back. It was good to see Stiepermann back in the number ten role and of Tom Trybull as an able replacement for Alex Tetty.

We began with City attacking the River End although most of the early play was fairly hectic stuff in midfield with passes from both sides going astray. The visitors were the first to cause a moment of danger when Aarons lost out in a tackle on the left but  the City defence were quick to cover. Up at our end there was a half chance for Pukki but he never got hold of his shot properly and scuffed it into the side netting from fifteen yards.

They took a while to get going but from the tenth minute the home side began to play some lovely expansive one touch stuff that had Brum continually on the back foot. Buendia was at the heart of everything and in a sweeping attack he released Lewis on the City right to smack a hard and low centre across the six yard line where Timmu Pukki was just too quick for the defender and the ball was past Lee Camp before he could move.

It relieved the early tension so much that I deemed it the perfect time to nip out for a wee. Well, regular readers will know what's coming next.ūüėÄ I was still fumbling through the layers when I heard what was obviously a Birmingham equaliser. Anyone who wants to know how it happened will have to get the information from elsewhere because my son was strangely unforthcoming when I asked for details.

For the next few minutes I was shaking my head and holding forth that no team so fragile at the back would ever get automatic promotion. Then up stepped Emi Buendia with a lovely turn and pass to Aarons who neatly found Vrancic about twenty yards out.  He had time to look up and judge a perfect low strike into the left corner of Camp's net to restore City's lead. From then on Brum were at sixes and sevens every time City came forward. Buendia was crudely hacked down more than once and one of the yellows could easily have been a red.

On twenty five minutes City's persistence earned a corner on their left and at the second attempt Buendia's whipped cross found Tom Trybull all alone to head home from six yards. A minute later it might have been four as a Pukki got on the end of superb one touch inter-passing movement and guided his flick inches wide of the far post. It had been a joy to watch but Buendia's contribution was brought up short when he had to limp off after thirty five minutes. The only way Birmingham could stop him was to hack him down and ref Mr. Robinson was far too lenient IMO.

Birmingham tried hard to get a foothold in the game but apart from some huffing and puffing Krul remained untroubled as City played out the half in relative comfort

It might have been all done and dusted from the restart as Hernandez got away down the left only for Camp to punch the ball away from the lurking Stieperman then Vrancic clipped one a yard over seconds later. However, it really should have been four when Stiepermanns pass put Hernandez clear on fifty minutes. He could have shot or he could have passed to Pukki in the middle but ended up doing neither and losing out in a tackle as he tried to cut back.

From then on Birmingham seemed very reluctant to come forward as City played the ball about at will across the back. They seemed to be waiting for a mistake rather than making things happen for themselves. They almost got lucky a couple of times when Godfrey and then Trybull got caught in possession but Krul ended up easily fielding long range efforts. Apart from a couple of corners the visitors rarely looked like they had a goal in them and City again really should have wrapped it all up when Cantwell did exactly the same thing as Hernandez and neither passed nor shot when perfectly placed.

Rhodes and McLean came on for the last knockings. There was a flurry of Birmingham corners at the death but City held on for turned out to be a very comfortable three points in the end.

It's a double MOM for me with Vrancic and Trybull sharing the honours and with honourable mentions for Zimmerman and Godfrey who rarely put a foot wrong.

Edited by ricardo
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IMO that was possibly the most ‚Äėprofessional‚Äô home performance of the season. ¬†For a 10 minute spell we ripped them apart with our passing, then in the second half played well within ourselves but still with threat. ¬†It was a good statement to make given¬†the upcoming fixtures.

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We have done our job for the weekend and all we can do now is hope for Leeds and Sheff Utd to drop points,oh and the icing on the cake this weekend would be a win for Blackburn.

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I noticed that buendia motioned to the ref that he was being persistently fouled.

He was after a little protection that wasn't forthcoming. 

It's a tough league.

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27 minutes ago, Chelm Canary said:

I noticed that buendia motioned to the ref that he was being persistently fouled.

He was after a little protection that wasn't forthcoming. 

It's a tough league.

Am I the only person who thinks they've notice an increased leniency from referees towards physical challenges? Not just in the Championship, in the EPL as well. I date it to around the start of the holiday fixtures. Players going down after even pretty robust challenges are not getting the free kicks that used to ensue. I've been led to wonder several times whether it's the result of officials being instructed not to fall so readily for players "buying" free kicks.

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5 hours ago, TIL 1010 said:

We have done our job for the weekend and all we can do now is hope for Leeds and Sheff Utd to drop points,oh and the icing on the cake this weekend would be a win for Blackburn.

Let's not be greedy TIL, even a one goal win¬† will bring their goal difference closer to ours. As for 1p5wich, I'm sure that will take care of itself. ūüėĀ

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Kieftenbeld should have had a red, no question. The Ref was right on top of it as well, and you'll see a few challenges like that, over the next few weeks, that'll be given red without question. Perhaps we should have been a bit more vocal about that, at the time.

Also they were allowed to get away with some 'robust'/'professional' challenges, the foot on Vrancic's knee, in the 2nd half being particularly thuggish. (Any retrospective action there, no I thought not!)

Edited by Crabbycanary3

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3 hours ago, Crabbycanary3 said:

Kieftenbeld should have had a red, no question. The Ref was right on top of it as well, and you'll see a few challenges like that, over the next few weeks, that'll be given red without question. Perhaps we should have been a bit more vocal about that, at the time.

Also they were allowed to get away with some 'robust'/'professional' challenges, the foot on Vrancic's knee, in the 2nd half being particularly thuggish. (Any retrospective action there, no I thought not!)

I along with linesman and ref missed that stamp on Vrancic's knee. Looked premeditated me on the replay.

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I along with linesman and ref missed that stamp on Vrancic's knee. Looked premeditated me on the replay.

Pretty well spot on as usual Ricardo. And I'm glad you thought Godfrey is doing well. Others seem to have a down on him.

I thought Birmingham came to kick us off the park. I think it was premeditated. Both Kieftenbeld and Vassell were in the air when they tacked and refs have been told it is an automatic red as the player is deemed out of control. Pedersen and the Gardners were quite happy to still foul even after a yellow card.

And the stamp was something most of us missed so I can't necessarily blame the ref there. Let's hope the is some form of retrospective punishement.

We grew up watching that kind of football and it went largely unpunished. If that is going to be allowed to happen again then so be it but it has to be consistent. Hanley was sent off for something that wouldn't hurt a player but was deemed to have prevented a goal. Doesn't make sense to me. Hernandez had, it appeared, a goal scoring chance but didn't. So how can a ref judge it?

It will be interesting to see if the match is brought up when Dermot Gallagher does his assessment on SSN.

 

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I couldn't make the game yesterday due to sky moving the KO - but managed to watch it at the local pub.

I personally didn't think the stamp was intentional. Things like this never look good in slow motion, but the players apologies to Vrancic immediately afterwards seemed quite genuine on the TV.

How on earth Vassel didn't get sent off for his horrific 2 footer within our own half I do not know. He seemed to get the benefit of the doubt purely because his tackle was so wild, that he missed the player.

22 fouls at only 4 yellow cards, with some nasty ones too. Clearly we frustrated them in the second half and they can probably consider themselves lucky to not have any suspensions moving into the next game.

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Vassell's two-footer was really horrendous......if there had been contact, it would have in my opinion inflicted a serious injury...... 

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Norwich’s second half professionalism will scare opposition coaches even more than some of the excellent football in the first half. Very impressive indeed.

Parma 

Edited by Parma Ham's gone mouldy

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The stamp was clearly intentional but he obviously realised in the moment so put the brakes on.    For that, it's not worth too much fuss but we are getting a kickin' and refs need to protect... Maybe the boss should be having a word with the refs before the match.... 

As for the performance, they were brilliant first half except for the goal, Blues were 35 yards out and still no one pressing the ball, fair play, good forward run, Jota under no pressure found Adams and great finish.    Godfrey not to blame, the fault was the failure to press Jota.   We were too deep without controlling the limited space!     Some of our possession football was exceptional.    

Second half we tried to manage the result and our lack of intensity as a unit put some pressure on the back four who handled it well.  But if the midfield options aren't there, then defenders will make the odd error especially when pressed (they will be next week) so whilst we managed the game there are definite lessons to learn and keeping better and more sustained possession in midfield, ie further up the field where opponents will have to sit deeper makes sense.   For that we need more movement.    Trybull was a revelation and Lewis had a great game too. 

Incredible where confidence and team spirit get you in this game....   Opponent fans think we have a small squad and won't last the pace..... to see Adams and Godfrey come in, Trybull, Vrancic, Rhodes, Cantwell, McLean (all none starters earlier in the season) and perform at their levels has been magnificent.     We have strength in depth and on that performance, we can win this league.     OTBC 

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18 hours ago, TIL 1010 said:

We have done our job for the weekend and all we can do now is hope for Leeds and Sheff Utd to drop points,oh and the icing on the cake this weekend would be a win for Blackburn.

I bet you wish you’d added a lottery win to the list now TIL?

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I agree with much of what Ged has said. This referee was again weak and whilst he waved yellow cards, he never really gave a direct warning to the offenders. It is becoming increasingly clear that the opposition are intend on hacking down our ball players as the only way to contain us. Our only real weakness is, as Ged explains, on too many occasions we are not defending the midfield enough and tend to allow the opponents to get close to our penalty area before we close them down. However I do accept that with our midfielders being attack minded they can't be everywhere.

What is most impressive is how players brought in to replace injuries etc all seem to quickly gel and fit in to the Farke style. I was a big critic of the Head Coach 12 months ago, but I now see us as firm favourites to take the title. I think we have far more quality than both Leeds and Sheff Utd. (I hope my words do not come back and haunt me in a couple of weeks time)

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